The present study investigates changes in the rural landscapes of a Mediterranean country (Greece) over a long time period (1970-2015) encompassing economic expansions and recessions. Using a spatial distribution of 5 basic agricultural land-use classes (arable land, garden crop, vineyards, tree crop and fallow land) derived from official statistics at 6 years (1970, 1979, 1988, 1997, 2006, 2015), a quantitative analysis based on correlation and multivariate techniques was carried out to identify recent changes in the Greek agricultural landscape at prefectural level during different economic waves. Empirical results evidenced both intuitive and counter-intuitive landscape transformations, including: (i) a progressive, spatially-homogeneous reduction of cropland; (ii) a (more or less) rapid decrease in the surface of high-input crops, including arable land, horticulture and vineyards; (iii) a parallel increase in the surface of tree crops, especially olive; (iv) a spatially-heterogeneous decrease of fallow land concentrated in metropolitan and tourism districts, especially in the last decade; and, finally, (v) increasingly diversified landscapes in rural, accessible areas close to the sea coast. Based on a correlation analysis with background socioeconomic indicators, our findings reflect the multiple impacts of urbanization and land abandonment on the composition and diversity of rural landscapes. Changes in agricultural land-use were moulded by multiple drivers depending on latent transformations in rural systems and inherent conflicts with expanding urban regions. Together with market conditions and the Common Agricultural Policy subsidy regime, social contexts and the economic cycle are important when identifying long-term changes in agricultural landscapes, especially in transitional socio-ecological systems.

Rural districts between urbanization and land abandonment: Undermining long-term changes in mediterranean landscapes

Ferrara, Agostino;Salvia, Rosanna;Salvati, Luca
2018-01-01

Abstract

The present study investigates changes in the rural landscapes of a Mediterranean country (Greece) over a long time period (1970-2015) encompassing economic expansions and recessions. Using a spatial distribution of 5 basic agricultural land-use classes (arable land, garden crop, vineyards, tree crop and fallow land) derived from official statistics at 6 years (1970, 1979, 1988, 1997, 2006, 2015), a quantitative analysis based on correlation and multivariate techniques was carried out to identify recent changes in the Greek agricultural landscape at prefectural level during different economic waves. Empirical results evidenced both intuitive and counter-intuitive landscape transformations, including: (i) a progressive, spatially-homogeneous reduction of cropland; (ii) a (more or less) rapid decrease in the surface of high-input crops, including arable land, horticulture and vineyards; (iii) a parallel increase in the surface of tree crops, especially olive; (iv) a spatially-heterogeneous decrease of fallow land concentrated in metropolitan and tourism districts, especially in the last decade; and, finally, (v) increasingly diversified landscapes in rural, accessible areas close to the sea coast. Based on a correlation analysis with background socioeconomic indicators, our findings reflect the multiple impacts of urbanization and land abandonment on the composition and diversity of rural landscapes. Changes in agricultural land-use were moulded by multiple drivers depending on latent transformations in rural systems and inherent conflicts with expanding urban regions. Together with market conditions and the Common Agricultural Policy subsidy regime, social contexts and the economic cycle are important when identifying long-term changes in agricultural landscapes, especially in transitional socio-ecological systems.
2018
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
sustainability-10-01159 (1).pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Pdf editoriale
Licenza: Dominio pubblico
Dimensione 3.57 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
3.57 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11563/133467
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 31
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 16
social impact